Pantanal 3: The Howler Monkey Tower at Araras Eco Lodge (Long post)
When: November 2019 Weather: Hot 25-30C
One of the things we were looking forward to was to visit the observation tower about a 20 minute walk away from the lodge…we did it once in the late afternoon to try and catch a sunset and once in late morning when we had a spare hour. As was usually the case here, we saw so many things on the way to the tower itself that I wondered if there’d be anything left to see when we got there….
A magnificent rufescent tiger heron greeted us that day
as did a blue crowned parakeet
and near the breakfast table, amongst the scores of yellow billed cardinals, this appeared…
It was the only Crested Cardinal we saw in the pantanal..it had the same colours as the much commoner yellow billed cardinal
a green barred woodpecker was in a tree on the side of the pond where the wooden boardwalk leads to the tower
a beautiful Great antshrike arrived on the wooden rail…
and then another male appeared and they both took turns displaying to attract the ladies!
A Matto Grosso Antbird was skulking in the adjacent undergrowth
We finally got on to the wooden boardwalk and headed into the forest…
But a few steps in, a brown bullet zipped past us…
and promptly flopped down onto the boardwalk itself as if to sun its wings! A beautiful Buff throated treecreeper!
A magnificent black hawk watched over us
Close up on black hawk
And as we went through the forest we heard a noise in the undergrowth an out came this Tapir! Ignoring us, he wandered off towards the lake…
a welcome bath in the pond…
this was the pond as seen from the tower and you can just see the head of the tapir in the water
we could see the top of the tower from the pond
we finally made it to the howler monkey tower! It’s 25m high and a short climb
View of the pond from the top of the tower….
No sooner had we gotten to the top when our guide whispered …Aracari! A perfect and uncommonly seen eye level view of the chestnut eared Aracari
Magnificent Chestnut eared aracari….a medium sized toucan
How often to we get to look down on a bird like this? wonderful neck sparing views from the top of the howling monkey tower
A greater Ani with its beautiful plumage also appeared
and then from a gazillion miles away our guide Max spotted something…
A red throated piping guan!
In the same distant tree….another piping guan appeared…
this time a blue throated piping guan…such exotic species as never seen in Asia.
Heading back to the lodge, we were still entertained by the rufous tailed jacamar…so beautiful that I cannot resist posting yet more pictures
Rufous tailed Jacamar
And by the edge of the pond, a masked tityra
And a black crowned tityra
a silver beaked tanager
Cachalote caatinga..a beautiful brown bird
The loud calling Chaco Chachalaca is one of the most common big birds in the region…
A Campo Flicker…a type of ground woodpecker
and one final bird to end this lengthy post….the charming female Little woodpecker
The Howler monkey tower at Araras eco lodge and its environs was one of the highlights of our Pantanal excursion….over the 3.5 days we were in the Pantanal, we saw about 110 species, almost all lifers. Highly recommended!